Monday, October 31, 2011

Joe Wheeler to Goose Pond Colony Marina

10/28/11    Mile 277-305 on the Tennessee River
Left Joe Wheeler State park after the rain subsided.  Cold and windy.  Three boats traveled together...Sweetgrass, Two Bears (a 22ft Cape Dory) and us.   Had a great dinner on Sweetgrass!
River Walk Marina had no showers or restrooms...but the slip fees were good)

10/29/11  Riverwalk Marina to Ditto Landing  (Mile 305-334)
This was a short day.  We pulled in early enough for a bike ride on the concrete bike path which wound through the countryside and some residential areas.  (7 miles total)  When we get a chance, we view previous Good Wife episodes on  Can't miss that show!

10/30/11  Ditto Landing to Goose Pond Colony Marina  (Mile 334-378)
Left in mild fog which became very dense as we traveled. (Photo by Jerry Reves)

 The fog lifted just in time for us to see the famous painted bluff.

We had a long day since we waited at Guntersville Lock for 2 hours so that a tow with 10 barges could lock through.  Ookpik and Sweetgrass tied off to the auxillary lock wall and the rest of us rafted up to them.  We were rafted with Ookpik and Two Bears...we looked like Papa Boat, Mama Boat, and Baby Boat.

photo by Jerry Reves
Today was Two Bears first lock and they did well!

When we arrived at Goose Pond, there were several other loop boats...old home week!

Tonight (Sunday) we had cable to see Good Wife...woo hoo.  Just a little hint of home :)

Friday, October 28, 2011

"Fighting" Joe Wheeler

Our cruise up the Tennessee River has brought us to an area filled with Civil War sites, this the 150th anniversary of the war. When we went through Pickwick Lock we passed the site of the Shiloh battlegrounds at Pittsburgh Landing. Nearly 4,000 soldiers were killed outright in two days of fighting. Many thousands more were wounded. We will tour Shiloh National Military Park when we head down the Tom Bigbee Waterway mid November.

One popular Confederate soldier was "Fighting" Joe Wheeler. General Wheeler is unique in that he is one of only two CSA soldiers buried in Arlington National Cemetery. After graduating from West Point and serving in the war with Mexico he resigned to join the South. Rising quickly through the ranks he achieved Lieutenant General, Calvary, by age 27. After the war Wheeler then became U.S. Congressman in Alabama, serving many terms. He went back into the U.S. Army again serving in the Spanish-American war in Cuba, then afterwards in the Philippines. In Cuba he headed the Volunteer Army which included the Rough Riders and future president Theodore Roosevelt.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

AGLCA Rendezvous

Ron and I had not intended to participate in the America's Great Loop Cruisers' Association Rendezvous, but a number of boaters convinced us to attend. It was fabulous!

  There were 53 boats here and we met lots of interesting people from the US, Australia, Canada, and the UK.   We spent the most time with Ken and Ann from Sarasota, FL and Brian and Jean from the UK.


Ken and Ann, along with many others, were not on the loop yet, but were exploring the possibility of starting. The loopers were treated royally by Rogersville, the nearby town.  The shops were delightful!   One evening we attended an outdoor concert with a smores bar, massages, and a cigar bar.  It was held an a local bed and breakfast, so we got a tour of the home, too.  The singers were fantastic!
Last night, at the end of the Rendezvous, people who loved music got together to sing and play.  We had dulcimers, guitars, ukeles, and lots of fun.

Jenny Reves and I did laundry today...back to the domestic side of boating.  Since cold weather is expected, I'm making soup.

More than 20 boats headed out this morning (10/27) for the Tennessee-TomBigbee and on toward Mobile.

 Fourteen  boats (including us) are going instead to Chattanooga....we leave in the morning.  It will be about an 8-10 day trip and we will eventually return to the TomBigbee and head south, too.  If we arrive in Mobile Bay at the right time (Thanksgiving) all of the loopers have been invited to Thanksgiving dinner either at a marina or at the home of the harbor hosts.  This group is treated well!
This pic is from earlier in the week...beautiful fall colors!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Florence, AL to Jo Wheeler State Park

10/19/11  I decided I needed a haircut and mentioned it to Ava, the owner of the marina.  She got on the phone, made an appointment for me, and asked her daughter to drive me the 10 miles or so.  Talk about customer service...outstanding! 
10/20/11  We left Florence for Wilson Lock.  Three other boats entered the lock with was a houseboat being manned by one person on board.  Due to the excessive wind, he was not able to get to a bollard from his port side and got turned around in the lock so that his bow was tied on the bollard.

 The lockmaster would not fill the lock until he turned the boat around and got a better line on the bollard.  This lock is one of the highest in the US at 93 feet.  When he filled the lock, the water boiled and churned and we were glad we had two lines (fore and aft) tied to the bollard.  We had some challenges docking due to strong winds.  We are tied to the courtesy dock because we were unable to get a slip.  (no problem---the courtesy dock is free)  There is no power on this dock, but we have a generator.  Had cocktails on Sweetgrass and we were able to meet Jerry's wife Jenny, who arrived this morning.  Had a nice time!
10/21/11  Two BIG boats are tied up on the other side of our dock....we look like their dingy.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Green Turtle Bay to Florence, Alabama

We haven't posted for several days (busy traveling or no internet access)

10/15/11 Saturday.  We left Green Turtle Bay and headed for Kentucky Lake and the Tennessee River.  We made the turn just before a barge came along...he was the only tow we saw all day.  Windy!  Arrived in New Johnsonville (Johnsonville was submerged when they created Kentucky Lake).  Stayed at Pebble Isle Marina.  They loaned us a car to drive 15 miles to church.  It was a small church with a smaller congregation and no music.  We had dinner at the marina...very good!  There is a sail boat at the marina driveway entrance which is a twin keel, steel hulled boat built by a local man.  The draft was 6 ft.  His widow donated it to the marina when he died. 

10/16/11 Sunday  We left Pebble Isle even though wind gusts of 40 were predicted by the marina owner.  It was windy, but only 25 mph gusts.  Right after leaving the harbor, we passed a homemade raft with a shelter on top (young man and woman on board).  The back and the front of it were open.  They called us on the radio...said they left Pittsburgh and were headed for New Orleans.  They had traveled 1,100 miles.  They were powered by 2 small outboards.  They asked us for information on Mobile Bay and if there was and intracoastal waterway there.  Wish we had gotten a better photo...hope we see them again.

 We saw only 1 barge all day.  The hilly shoreline along here is beautiful.  We arrived at Clifton Marina (Clifton, Tennessee).  Our slip was next to the gas dock..convenient for office, restrooms, and walking Duke.
10/17/11 Monday  We followed 2 other trawlers out of the marina and headed for Pickwick Lock and Dam (49 miles ahead).  One of the boats, The Erika Lynn, was one we met at Leland, Michigan our first night out from Traverse City.  At Pickwick L & D we had a only small wait since the barge ahead of us decided to pull over and wait for the lockmaster to add water to the pool below the dam.  Four boats entered the lock, the lock doors closed, and then reopened to allow another pleasure craft entry.  This is a tall lock and took quite a while to fill.  All of the boats but ours entered the Tenn-Tom apparently heading south.  We proceeded up the Tennessee River to a quiet anchorage at mile 218.  We were the only vessel at anchor...very peaceful until the middle of the night when coyotes (very close by) started howling.  Duke growled and barked for a long time. 

10/18/11  We left anchor and headed for Florence Marina (Florence, Alabama) since a storm was predicted.  We were safely in our slip several hours before bad weather arrived.  Temps went from balmy to very cold....39degrees tonight.  Two couples invited us to dinner at a local Italian Restaurant.  Brian and Jean  (Spirit of Whitby)are from England and Bill and Mary(Harbour Reach) are originally from Rhode Island, but are now liveaboards.  Had a wonderful, relaxing time.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Green Turtle Bay Marina, Kentucky

10/8/11  We arrived at Green Turtle Bay around noon and learned that Hunter's Moon Festival was in full swing in the nearby town of Grand Rivers.  Walked to town to see the Hunters Moon Parade.  Very warm here...mid 80s and sunny. 

10/9/11  Work day on the boat....washed the outside/ cleaned the inside and did laundry.  Our friends from Seagrass joined us for cocktails aboard our boat.  They will depart in the morning.  It was great traveling with them for 4 days.

 We have altered our route south.  Originally we had hoped to meet Josh (son) and Jesssica in Nashville, but their plans have changed, so we will head south on the Tennessee River.  We hope that Becky (BFF) and Lannie will join us as they head to Florida.
10/10/11 Harbor at night

10/11/11  Today we will travel by car to Paducah to get Duke's haircut at Petsmart and to do some additional shopping.  If weather permits, we will head out in the a.m.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Mile 117 on Mississippi to Green Turtle Bay

10/6/11   Mile 117 to Mile 7
There were many, many barges...all going north except for one.  We went through two narrow bends with underwater weirs which created many eddys and whirlpools--had to power up to get through.  There was a 7 wide northbound barge headed toward us when a 3 wide tow decided to pass him.  We all got to the same place at the same time..a bit tense!  We anchored out north of the I57 bridge at Boston Bar.  Sweetgrass (the anesthesiologists) put out an upstream anchor and we put out a downstream anchor and backed up along side of them, giving us the effect of a bow and stern anchor.  Duke has been so good...he gets on shore and dawn and dusk only unless at a marina.  He definitely knows what the dingy is for...transport to potty.  The challenge is to get the dingy to a place without Mississippi mud.

We left mile 7 on the Mississippi for the Ohio River where we turned upstream at Cairo.  Lots of fleeting barges.  After Cairo the river is quiet.  The lock at Olmstead is under construction so we passed right by.  The second lock (#53) the wickets were down so we sailed right through.  We passed the Delta is big and ugly. 

At lock 52 we waited 45 minutes for a upbound to get out of the lock...,then we got right in.  That lock had a different system.  There were no bollards, so the drop you a hook and pick up your bow and stern line.  Once the chamber is filled, you pull your line back onto your boat.  Anchorage was in the Cumberland towhead...just Sweetgrass and us until about 8:30 pm when another boat pulled in.  Very peaceful anchorage!

We left our anchorage and headed up the cumberland river.  A small barge, the Kansas City was ahead of us.  Jerry (Sweetgrass) called him 4 times and he refused to answer.  We had heard that guys down here prefer women on the radio, so I called him and he responded immediately.  We ask for permission to pass and got it, but we were too slow to get around him.  We told him we'd hold back and he said, " come on ahead maam...I'll power down.  THAT WAS A FIRST!  We got right in the lock at Barkley is very tall...57 of the largest lifts on the loop.  Arrived at Green Turtle Bay around noon...just in time for the Hunters Moon Festival and Parade in town.  Weather is still perfect...warm days and cool nights.  We'll be here through Tuesday morning and then will head for Nashville.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Alton to Kimmswick, MO to Kaskaskia Lock and Dam

Alton to Kimmswick MO (Hoppie’s Marina)
10/4/11 Departed from Alton at 0740 …no wait at either lock.  In the first lock was a kayaker….he started his trip 2 months ago in Minneapolis/St.Paul.  His destination was all the way down the Mississippi to New Orleans.  As we left the first lock, the Spirit of Peoria was Northbound. (small world)
 Downtown St. Louis had Coast Guard presence on the river.  Found out President Obama was coming to town.  The current was really strange…strong and coming from different directions.  Arrived at Hoppie’s at 1300.  Fern directed us to the proper place on the dock and invited us to an informational session at 1630.  Each day she conducts an informational session about the rivers from here to Green Turtle Bay.  We walked to Kimmswick (1 mile) and went through the quaint shops (similar to Galena or Washington).  Stopped in an old fashioned soda shop... 
 There are 7 boats here, and some very interesting people.  One couple from Sweden came across the Atlantic in their 36 ft sailboat (Sweden to Africa to Brazil). There are 2 couples from Minnesota (one is from Scotland originally).  Traveling with us are 2 retired anesthesiologists (one from Duke University and one from Birmingham).  Also on the dock is a couple from NY. The other group is from Chillicothe, IL. From here to Green Turtle Bay is 270 miles…no marinas/no services.  We will be traveling with a couple other boats.  Hope we can find a place that Duke can go to shore. 

10/5/11 Today we are heading for the Kaskaskia Lock and Dam wall to tie up for the night.  It is about 30 miles from here. We arrived at 1200 and were the first boat to tie up.  By 1730, there were 3 power boats and 2 sailboats on the Lock and Dam wall.  It’s very quiet here..pleasant to be off the Mississippi for an overnight.  Tomorrow we head for the Diversion channel and will have to anchor out.   The next day we go up the Ohio River.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Beginning the Loop from Peoria

This is the adventure of the USS, Adagio.  Assigned a 4 year tour of the Great Loop, the bold crew of Adagio explores the excitement of strange new waters, uncharted riverways, and interesting people. These are its voyages and adventures.

Captain's Log, Stardate 9/30/11
We left the IVY Club, our home port in Peoria, at out just ahead of a southbound barge.  There were 2 northbound barges waiting in the narrows.  At Peoria Lock and Dam, a northbound was just coming out with another northbound waiting, so the lockmaster let us and another pleasure craft through on the way down.  At Havana (1400) Duke decided he had to go ashore, so we pulled up to a new fixed dock with cleats and got stuck in the mud.  After allowing Duke some R & R, we put the boat in reverse, full throttle and were back in the channel.  Made our destination of Logston Barge Terminal at Beardstown.  It is just a barge where you tie up alongside...there was no power.  The owner charged us $34.00 ($1.00 per foot) but since we had no change, he gladly accepted $40.00.  Our mistake...ALWAYS HAVE CHANGE!  The stairs over the levee leading ashore were very steep grated metal steps.  Duke was terrified (see photo #1 and 2) 
10/1/11 Very cold on board this am (48 degrees)  Headed downriver to Hardin.  Lots of tugboats going both directcions.  No wait at LaGrange lock.  Arrived in Hardin at 1545 and pulled up to a small dock.  Every boat is charged the same here...$ at the restaurant.  We walked to town and found a church, but decided that we would not wait for the 9:30 am Sunday mass...we'd take a chance on finding a church in Alton. 
10/2  Awoke to dense fog and cold temps.  Decided to wait for the fog to lift...since it didn't, we headed for church.  After church the river was clear and we took off for Alton. Peaceful trip down.  Lots of houses on stilts. (see photo)  Entered the Mississippi River which seemed very tranquil.  Called our friends Ginger and Burl Beavers and they, along with John, Paige and Khalil...tooks us out for dinner.  Had a wonderful time visitng with them.  Duke loved Khalil (and I'm sure Duke dreamed about him last night). 
10/3  Took today off...did laundry and relaxed.  One of the people here at the marina offered us his car....we may take him up on that later.  The weather the next few days looks good!